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KRIS AQUINO TO TAKE CARE OF 'CITIZEN NOY'


JUNE 30 -Kris Aquino with Bimby, Josh and former president Benigno Aquino III Kris Aquino with Bimby, Josh and former president Benigno Aquino III (Instagram) Kris Aquino to take care of ‘Citizen Noy’
 After serving the country for six years as president, Benigno Aquino III will bid Malacañang farewell today, June 30. The former president’s youngest sister Kris Aquino shared she is ready to take care of her big brother now that he is a “citizen.” “In less than 15 hours, ready to take care of #CitizenNoy #FamilyFirst,” Kris posted Wednesday on Instagram along with a photo of her with PNoy and her sons Josh and Bimby. PNoy is reportedly staying at the Aquino residence in Times Street in Quezon City. Kris shared, “In case you get lonely, you have 3 noisy, makulit, energetic house mates (Kuya Josh, Bimb, and me) ready to occupy your guest room & keep you company whether you like it or not.” She would go on to recall memorable experiences she had during PNoy’s six-year term. “When I was praying last night, I thanked God for the memories we will treasure. What stood out in my heart was the opportunity to have been in the presence of @franciscus, attending His Mass w/ all other Filipinos who share our faith, and all the times Tito Noy made an extra effort to include Kuya Josh & Bimb,” she said. Kris also shared a prayer for President Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo. “May God continue to bless President Duterte & Vice President Robredo, the success of our leaders is also the success of our country. MABUHAY ANG DEMOKRASYA!,” she added. She also thanked the Presidential Security Group for protecting and taking care of them. “Thank you to the PSG who took excellent care of us, PNoy’s sisters & genuinely became a part of our family. We were blessed w/ a professional & compassionate team,” she posted. READ MORE...

ALSO: FROM DailyMail UK -New Philippine President Duterte vows deadly crime war


JUNE 30 -Incoming Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte (L) listens to outgoing President Benigno Aquino ahead of his swearing-in ceremony at Malacanang Palace in Manila on June 30, 2016 ©Ted Aljibe (AFP) Authoritarian firebrand Rodrigo Duterte was sworn in as the Philippines' president Thursday -- and quickly launched a foul-mouthed vow to wipe out drug traffickers and even urged ordinary Filipinos to kill addicts. Duterte, 71, won last month's election in a landslide after a campaign dominated by threats to kill tens of thousands of criminals in a relentless war on crime, and tirades against the nation's elite that cast him as an incendiary, anti-establishment hero. After a measured speech after taking his oath before a small audience inside the presidential palace, the outspoken leader paid an evening visit to a Manila slum and unleashed profanity-laden threats against drug traffickers in front of a crowd of about 500 people Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures to the crowd he visited composed of families living in slum area of Manila on June 30, 2016 Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures to the crowd he visited composed of families living in slum area of Manila on June 30, 2016 ©Noel Celis (AFP) "These sons of whores are destroying our children. I warn you, don't go into that, even if you're a policeman, because I will really kill you," the head of state told the audience. "If you know of any addicts, go ahead and kill them yourself as getting their parents to do it would be too painful." Duterte has previously alleged some police officers were engaged in drug trafficking. READ MORE...

ALSO:
From DailyMail, UK -Duterte sworn in as president of Philippines


JUNE 30 -New Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, left, and outgoing President Benigno Aquino III salute during inauguration ceremony Thursday, June 30, 2016 at Malacanang Palace grounds in Manila, Philippines. Duterte becomes the 16th President of the Philippine Republic.(AP Photo/Bullit Marquez) MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Rodrigo Duterte was sworn in Thursday as president of the Philippines, with some hoping his maverick style will energize the country but others fearing he will undercut one of Asia's liveliest democracies amid threats to kill criminals en masse. The 71-year-old former prosecutor and longtime mayor of southern Davao city won a resounding victory in May's elections in his first foray into national politics. Duterte, who begins a six-year term as president, captured attention with promises to cleanse the poor Southeast Asian nation of criminals and government crooks within six months — an audacious pledge that was welcomed by many crime-weary Filipinos but alarmed human rights watchdogs and the influential Roman Catholic church. Shortly after Duterte's election win, policemen launched an anti-drug crackdown under his name, leaving dozens of mostly poor drug-dealing suspects dead in gunfights with police or in mysterious circumstances.Days before his swearing in, Duterte was threatening criminals with death if they wouldn't reform. "If you destroy my country, I will kill you," he said in a warning to criminals in a speech during the last flag-raising ceremony he presided as mayor in Davao city this week. READ MORE...

ALSO: FROM ARAB WORLD NEWS - New Philippine president warns of ‘rough ride’ ahead


JUNE 30 -Incoming Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte (back) walks behind outgoing President Benigno Aquino III during the departure ceremony for Aquino ahead of the swearing-in ceremony at Malacanang Palace in Manila on Thursday. (AFP / TED ALJIBE) MANILA: Rodrigo Duterte was sworn in as the Philippines’ 16th president on Thursday, capping an unlikely journey for a provincial city mayor whose brash man-of-the-people style and pledges to crush crime swamped establishment rivals in the May 9 election.Vice President Leni Robredo, a human rights lawyer who comes from a rival political party, was sworn in earlier in a separate ceremony. Vice presidents are separately elected in the Philippines, and in a sign of Duterte’s go-it-alone style, he has not met her since the May 9 vote.After making his pledge at the presidential palace in Manila, with one hand on the Bible, Duterte delivered a short speech in which he promised a “relentless” and “sustained” fight against corruption, criminality and illegal drugs.However, he said these ills were only symptoms of a virulent social disease cutting into the moral fiber of society.“I see the erosion of the people’s trust in our country’s leaders, the erosion of faith in our judicial system, the erosion of confidence in the capacity of our public servants to make the people’s lives better, safer and healthier,” he said.Outgoing President Benigno Aquino III brought the country an average annual growth rate of 6.3 percent in his six-year term, the fastest of Southeast Asia’s five main economies.Duterte said on Thursday that he would give specifics of his economic policies later, but some already fear that his defiance of convention could pose a danger to the country’s health.
Down-to-earth In a country long ruled by wealthy political clans, Duterte rose from middle-class roots. He built a reputation on the campaign trail with profanity-laced speeches, sex jokes and curses that sideswiped even the widely revered pope and the United Nations. READ MORE...

ALSO: Citizen Noy on homecoming - 'Ayos!' (Very good, I'm really good)
[Aquino said his parents, Corazon and the late senator Ninoy who were democracy icons, must be “patting their backs” as moving to Times Street in 1961 was one of the best decisions they ever made. “On their behalf and on behalf of our family again, thank you very much,” Aquino said, to which the crowd shouted back: “We love you.”]


JUNE 30- Former president Benigno Aquino III relaxes with his nephews Josh and Bimby and sister Kris inside his newly renovated house on Times street in Quezon City yesterday. ROWELL MARTIREZ
There was a short, colorful and lively welcome from his neighbors and supporters, who tied yellow ribbons everywhere and sang the song about it, when he arrived at No. 25 Times street before noon yesterday.
Former president Benigno Aquino III got his wish to have a simple and quiet beginning of his retirement from public office – at least for now – although his residence had to be secured from protesters who came after the program prepared for him. Aquino told the crowd as he reached the makeshift stage, which had a huge “Salamat PNoy!” sign and a yellow ribbon as backdrop: “I don’t think I’ve ever known any other home than here,” referring to the house the Aquinos moved into in 1961, the year after he birth. One of his friends who went inside his house right after the program said Aquino began to relax in the lounge of his newly built home as they entered. “Finally,” his friend quoted Aquino as saying, heaving a sigh of relief. Aquino said when his mother Corazon bowed out of office in 1992 as president, she chose to go back to Times Street where his family shared a lot of memories. Aquino’s sisters and other family members, former Cabinet officials, staff members, friends, security detail and supporters gathered inside the house for lunch where okoy, empanaditas, lechon, kare kare, prawns in coconut milk, chicken and pork adobo, fresh lumpiang ubod, steamed rice and pan de sal, green mango salad with camote tops, halo-halo with leche flan and maja blanca were served. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Kris Aquino to take care of ‘Citizen Noy’


Kris Aquino with Bimby, Josh and former president Benigno Aquino III Kris Aquino with Bimby, Josh and former president Benigno Aquino III (Instagram) Kris Aquino to take care of ‘Citizen Noy’

MANILA, JULY 7, 2016 (MANILA BULLETIN) by Karen Valeza June 30, 2016 - After serving the country for six years as president, Benigno Aquino III will bid Malacañang farewell today, June 30.

The former president’s youngest sister Kris Aquino shared she is ready to take care of her big brother now that he is a “citizen.”

“In less than 15 hours, ready to take care of #CitizenNoy #FamilyFirst,” Kris posted Wednesday on Instagram along with a photo of her with PNoy and her sons Josh and Bimby.

PNoy is reportedly staying at the Aquino residence in Times Street in Quezon City.

Kris shared, “In case you get lonely, you have 3 noisy, makulit, energetic house mates (Kuya Josh, Bimb, and me) ready to occupy your guest room & keep you company whether you like it or not.”

She would go on to recall memorable experiences she had during PNoy’s six-year term.

“When I was praying last night, I thanked God for the memories we will treasure. What stood out in my heart was the opportunity to have been in the presence of @franciscus, attending His Mass w/ all other Filipinos who share our faith, and all the times Tito Noy made an extra effort to include Kuya Josh & Bimb,” she said.

Kris also shared a prayer for President Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo.

“May God continue to bless President Duterte & Vice President Robredo, the success of our leaders is also the success of our country. MABUHAY ANG DEMOKRASYA!,” she added.

She also thanked the Presidential Security Group for protecting and taking care of them.

“Thank you to the PSG who took excellent care of us, PNoy’s sisters & genuinely became a part of our family. We were blessed w/ a professional & compassionate team,” she posted.

READ MORE...

In an interview on GMA’s “Saksi,” Kris revealed their preparations for PNoy’s homecoming.

“Meron kaming mga last minute na chineck kasi hindi niya pa nakikita. He has not been inside the house. Yung mga sisters ko ang nakialam. Yung for tomorrow, at least pagdating niy, may food, may naghanda,” she said in the interview.

As PNoy makes his transition as a citizen, Kris shared that he and her sons will probably bond via beach trip and movies.

“Nagpromise siya doon sa two boys. Kasi nagyaya sila na ‘Tito Noy, you said you wanted to go to the beach so you have to bring us.’ Kasi di ba nasabi niya iyon. Amg dami niyang inaugurate, ang dami niyang tree planting na ginawa, pero siya mismo yung maglakad-lakad. May mga movies din sila na nilista na we have to watch this,” she said.

Kris doesn’t seem too worried amid reported threats from the Abu Sayyaf Group.

“Wala naman na iyon siguro kasi kinailangan lang naman nilang gawin iyon kasi yung kapatid ko kailangan pumirma ng kung ano-ano. Ngayon deadma na sila,” she said.

Kris shared she’ll be praying for the new president.

“Bilang nanay, gusto ko ang curfew. In the same way na ang dami-dami naman ng nagdasal kay Noy to finish it and be successful, I’ll do my share also,” she said.


DAILYMAIL.COM UK

New Philippine President Duterte vows deadly crime war By AFP PUBLISHED: 17:02 GMT, 30 June 2016 | UPDATED: 17:03 GMT, 30 June 2016


JUNE 30 -Incoming Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte (L) listens to outgoing President Benigno Aquino ahead of his swearing-in ceremony at Malacanang Palace in Manila on June 30, 2016 ©Ted Aljibe (AFP)

Authoritarian firebrand Rodrigo Duterte was sworn in as the Philippines' president Thursday -- and quickly launched a foul-mouthed vow to wipe out drug traffickers and even urged ordinary Filipinos to kill addicts.

Duterte, 71, won last month's election in a landslide after a campaign dominated by threats to kill tens of thousands of criminals in a relentless war on crime, and tirades against the nation's elite that cast him as an incendiary, anti-establishment hero.

After a measured speech after taking his oath before a small audience inside the presidential palace, the outspoken leader paid an evening visit to a Manila slum and unleashed profanity-laden threats against drug traffickers in front of a crowd of about 500 people

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures to the crowd he visited composed of families living in slum area of Manila on June 30, 2016


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures to the crowd he visited composed of families living in slum area of Manila on June 30, 2016 ©Noel Celis (AFP)

"These sons of whores are destroying our children. I warn you, don't go into that, even if you're a policeman, because I will really kill you," the head of state told the audience.
"If you know of any addicts, go ahead and kill them yourself as getting their parents to do it would be too painful."
Duterte has previously alleged some police officers were engaged in drug trafficking.

READ MORE...

Repeating a favourite campaign refrain, the new president also said it would make good business sense to set up funeral parlours.

"I assure you you won't go bankrupt. If your business slows I will tell the police, 'Do it faster to help the people earn money.'"

In his speech earlier at the Malacanang presidential palace, as he took over from Benigno Aquino, Duterte had given notice there would indeed be dark days during his six years in office.

- Rough ride -

"The ride will be rough but come join me just the same," Duterte said in his remarks, which opened with familiar themes about the need to instil discipline in a graft-infested society.

"The problems that bedevil our country today which need to be addressed with urgency are corruption, both in the high and low echelons in government, criminality in the streets and the rampant sale of illegal drugs in all strata of Philippine society and the breakdown of law and order."

Duterte, a lawyer who earned a reputation as an authoritarian figure as mayor of the southern city of Davao over most of the past two decades, said these problems were symptoms of eroding Filipino faith in their leaders.

He had previously outlined a vision for his anti-crime programme that included reintroducing the death penalty, with hanging his preferred method of execution.

He said he would issue shoot-to-kill orders to the security services and offer them bounties for the bodies of drug dealers. He also urged ordinary Filipinos to kill suspected criminals.

During the campaign, Duterte said 100,000 people would die in his crackdown, with so many dead bodies dumped in Manila Bay that fish there would grow fat from feeding on them.

He has been accused of links to vigilante death squads in Davao, which rights groups say have killed more than 1,000 people.

Such groups are concerned that extrajudicial killings could spread across the Philippines under him, with a police crackdown following his election already leaving dozens of people dead.

-'I know what is legal'-

Duterte said at the presidential palace on Thursday his fight against crime would be "relentless and sustained", as he called on human rights monitors and critics in Congress to respect the mandate the Filipino people have given him.

But he also insisted he would work within the boundaries of the law.

"As a lawyer and former prosecutor, I know the limits of the power and authority of the president. I know what is legal and what is not. My adherence to due process and rule of law is uncompromising," he said.

Duterte also sought to portray himself as unifying figure.

"I was elected to the presidency to serve the entire country. I was not elected to serve the interest of any person or any group or any one class," Duterte said.

During the election campaign, Duterte picked fights with the envoys of key allies the United States and Australia after they criticised his joke about wanting to rape a "beautiful" Australian missionary who was sexually assaulted and killed in a Davao prison riot.

After his election win, Duterte also launched a seemingly unprovoked attack against the United Nations.

"Fuck you UN, you can't even solve the Middle East carnage... couldn't even lift a finger in Africa (with the) butchering (of) the black people. Shut up all of you," he said.

On Thursday, Duterte offered a muted message of friendship to the international community.

"On the international front and community of nations, let me reiterate that the Republic of the Philippines will honour treaties and international obligations," he said.


Rodrigo Duterte ©Gal Roma (AFP)


Activists rally in support for Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in Manila on June 30, 2016 ©Noel Celis (AFP)



Crowds rally in Manila in support of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on June 30, 2016 ©Noel Celis (AFP)


DAILYMAIL.COM UK

Duterte sworn in as president of Philippines By ASSOCIATED PRESS PUBLISHED: 04:24 GMT, 30 June 2016 | UPDATED: 04:25 GMT, 30 June 2016


JUNE 30 -New Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, left, and outgoing President Benigno Aquino III salute during inauguration ceremony Thursday, June 30, 2016 at Malacanang Palace grounds in Manila, Philippines. Duterte becomes the 16th President of the Philippine Republic.(AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Rodrigo Duterte was sworn in Thursday as president of the Philippines, with some hoping his maverick style will energize the country but others fearing he will undercut one of Asia's liveliest democracies amid threats to kill criminals en masse.

The 71-year-old former prosecutor and longtime mayor of southern Davao city won a resounding victory in May's elections in his first foray into national politics.

Duterte, who begins a six-year term as president, captured attention with promises to cleanse the poor Southeast Asian nation of criminals and government crooks within six months — an audacious pledge that was welcomed by many crime-weary Filipinos but alarmed human rights watchdogs and the influential Roman Catholic church.


New Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, left, and outgoing President Benigno Aquino III salute during inauguration ceremony Thursday, June 30, 2016 at Malacanang Palace grounds in Manila, Philippines. Duterte becomes the 16th President of the Philippine Republic.(AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

Shortly after Duterte's election win, policemen launched an anti-drug crackdown under his name, leaving dozens of mostly poor drug-dealing suspects dead in gunfights with police or in mysterious circumstances.

Days before his swearing in, Duterte was threatening criminals with death if they wouldn't reform.

"If you destroy my country, I will kill you," he said in a warning to criminals in a speech during the last flag-raising ceremony he presided as mayor in Davao city this week.

READ MORE...

Vice President Leni Robredo, a human rights lawyer who comes from a rival political party, was sworn in earlier in a separate ceremony. Vice presidents are separately elected in the Philippines, and in a sign of Duterte's go-it-alone style, he has not met her since the May 9 vote.

In a country long ruled by wealthy political clans, Duterte rose from middle-class roots. He built a reputation on the campaign trail with profanity-laced speeches, sex jokes and curses that sideswiped even the widely revered pope and the United Nations.

His brash style has been likened to that of presumptive U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, although he detests the comparison and says the American billionaire is a bigot and he's not.

Duterte is the first president to come from the country's volatile south, homeland of minority Muslims and scene of a decades-long Muslim separatist insurgency, where he said his central Philippine-based family migrated in search of better opportunities.



New Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, right, stands on the dais as outgoing President Benigno Aquino III reviews the troops during inauguration ceremony Thursday, June 30, 2016 at Malacanang Palace grounds in Manila, Philippines. Duterte becomes the 16th President of the Philippine Republic.
(AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)


ARAB WORLD NEWS

New Philippine president warns of ‘rough ride’ ahead
Agencies | Published — Thursday 30 June 2016


Incoming Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte (back) walks behind outgoing President Benigno Aquino III during the departure ceremony for Aquino ahead of the swearing-in ceremony at Malacanang Palace in Manila on Thursday. (AFP / TED ALJIBE)


New Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, second from right, takes his oath before Philippine Supreme Court Associate Justice Bienvenido Reyes during inauguration ceremony in Malacanang Palace in Manila on Thursday. (The News and Information Bureau, Malacanang Palace via AP)


Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo, second from right, stands beside her daughters as she is sworn by village chiefs Ronaldo Coner and Regina Celeste during inauguration ceremonies in suburban Quezon city, metropolitan Manila,on Thursday. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

MANILA: Rodrigo Duterte was sworn in as the Philippines’ 16th president on Thursday, capping an unlikely journey for a provincial city mayor whose brash man-of-the-people style and pledges to crush crime swamped establishment rivals in the May 9 election.

Vice President Leni Robredo, a human rights lawyer who comes from a rival political party, was sworn in earlier in a separate ceremony. Vice presidents are separately elected in the Philippines, and in a sign of Duterte’s go-it-alone style, he has not met her since the May 9 vote.

After making his pledge at the presidential palace in Manila, with one hand on the Bible, Duterte delivered a short speech in which he promised a “relentless” and “sustained” fight against corruption, criminality and illegal drugs.

However, he said these ills were only symptoms of a virulent social disease cutting into the moral fiber of society.

“I see the erosion of the people’s trust in our country’s leaders, the erosion of faith in our judicial system, the erosion of confidence in the capacity of our public servants to make the people’s lives better, safer and healthier,” he said.

Outgoing President Benigno Aquino III brought the country an average annual growth rate of 6.3 percent in his six-year term, the fastest of Southeast Asia’s five main economies.

Duterte said on Thursday that he would give specifics of his economic policies later, but some already fear that his defiance of convention could pose a danger to the country’s health.

Down-to-earth

In a country long ruled by wealthy political clans, Duterte rose from middle-class roots. He built a reputation on the campaign trail with profanity-laced speeches, sex jokes and curses that sideswiped even the widely revered pope and the United Nations.

READ MORE...

His brash style has been likened to that of presumptive US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, although he detests the comparison and says the American billionaire is a bigot and he’s not.

Duterte is the first president to come from the country’s volatile south, homeland of minority Muslims and scene of a decades-long Muslim separatist insurgency, where he said his central Philippine-based family migrated in search of better opportunities.

His informal, down-to-earth demeanor and use of the local dialect and disclosures of his foibles has endeared him to the poor, which make up at least a quarter of the more than 100 million Filipinos.

After his resounding victory, he promised to mellow down on the vulgarity and promised Filipinos will witness a “metamorphosis” once he gets settled in the seat of power.

In keeping with his unsophisticated manner, the inauguration ceremony was far less elaborate than those of his predecessors.

A 21-gun salute welcomed in the new president at Malacanang Palace, a graceful white mansion that was originally built by Spanish colonialists in the 18th century and became the official residence of the president after World War Two.

Very few media organizations were invited to the inauguration ceremony, the upshot of a furor Duterte unleashed recently when he suggested that corrupt journalists were legitimate targets for assassination.

‘Verging on the illegal’

Duterte conceded in his maiden speech that many critics believe his methods of fighting crime “are unorthodox and verge on the illegal.” However, the 71-year-old former prosecutor said that he knew right from wrong and would be uncompromising in adhering to due process and the rule of law.

Duterte was mayor for 22 years of the far-south city of Davao, where, according to human rights groups, death squads have killed at least 1,400 people since 1998, most of them drug-pushers, addicts, petty criminals and street children.

He denies any involvement in the vigilante killings.

Duterte’s incendiary rhetoric and advocacy of extrajudicial killings to stamp out crime and drugs have alarmed many who hear echoes of the country’s authoritarian past.

In the few weeks since his landslide election victory there has been a jump in the number of suspected drug dealers shot dead by police and anonymous vigilantes across the country, a sign, critics say, that a spiral of violence has already begun.

“Duterte tapped into a raw nerve in Philippines society about crimes being committed and no one being held responsible,” said Chito Gascon, head of the Commission on Human Rights. “Now you have this momentum for action but the cure could be worse than the disease.”

As well as taming crime, voters will be looking to Duterte to fix the country’s infrastructure, create jobs and lift more than a quarter of the 100 million population out of poverty.

Duterte says he wants to spread wealth more evenly.

But he has also said he will continue Aquino’s economic policies, which focused on infrastructure and fiscal efficiency, to push growth up to 7-8 percent, and analysts say they are encouraged that he plans to delegate this to experienced hands.

Foreign policy

Duterte’s unorthodox style has also sparked questions on how he would handle foreign relations.

He has suggested he will keep the US at arm’s length and has shown readiness to mend frosty ties with China. Those potential shifts have raised the specter of another difficult phase in more than a century of a love-hate relationship between the Philippines and its former colonizer.

“I will be charting a course on its own and will not be dependent on the United States,” he said last month.

A senior Philippine diplomat said American and Australian officials are curious how the new president will handle relations with their governments, which have enjoyed strong ties with outgoing Aquino, who bolstered security relations as a way to counter China’s assertiveness in disputed South China Sea territories.

The Chinese ambassador, on the other hand, has worked hard to repair damaged relations with Manila. He told Filipino diplomats Beijing would extend an invitation to the new president to visit China within the next six months, according to the Philippine diplomat who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity for lack of authority to discuss such topic with reporters.

Duterte’s new diplomatic tack provides an opportunity for China to rebuild relations with the Philippines, which under Aquino brought its territorial disputes with Beijing to international arbitration — something China vehemently opposed.

An arbitration tribunal in The Hague is scheduled to rule July 12 on the case, in which the Philippine government questioned the validity of China’s vast territorial claims. China has refused to join the arbitration.

Duterte’s initial policy pronouncements point to potential problems for Washington.

The longtime allies have worked together to counter China’s territorial advances in the South China Sea, including holding joint military exercises.

The Philippines has one of the most underfunded militaries in Asia and its move to seek US help has dovetailed with Washington’s effort to reassert its presence in a region, where China has rapidly expanded its influence.

“Definitely if the Philippines backs away somewhat from supporting the US in the South China Sea, this would be a problem for the US,” said Malcolm Cook, a senior fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore.

“China likes to present the US as a destabilizing outsider in the South China Sea and in Asia more generally,” he said. “The fewer Asian states that publicly counter this Chinese depiction, the more isolated the US.“


PHILSTAR

Citizen Noy on homecoming: Ayos By Aurea Calica (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 1, 2016 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


Former president Benigno Aquino III relaxes with his nephews Josh and Bimby and sister Kris inside his newly renovated house on Times street in Quezon City yesterday. ROWELL MARTIREZ

MANILA, Philippines - There was a short, colorful and lively welcome from his neighbors and supporters, who tied yellow ribbons everywhere and sang the song about it, when he arrived at No. 25 Times street before noon yesterday.

Former president Benigno Aquino III got his wish to have a simple and quiet beginning of his retirement from public office – at least for now – although his residence had to be secured from protesters who came after the program prepared for him.

Aquino told the crowd as he reached the makeshift stage, which had a huge “Salamat PNoy!” sign and a yellow ribbon as backdrop: “I don’t think I’ve ever known any other home than here,” referring to the house the Aquinos moved into in 1961, the year after he birth.

One of his friends who went inside his house right after the program said Aquino began to relax in the lounge of his newly built home as they entered. “Finally,” his friend quoted Aquino as saying, heaving a sigh of relief.


Former president Noynoy Aquino is welcomed by his neighbors and supporters at his Times Street, West Triangle in Quezon City, Thursday after leaving Malacanang. COURTESY OF INQUIRER PHOTO/ KIMBERLY DELA CRUZ

Aquino said when his mother Corazon bowed out of office in 1992 as president, she chose to go back to Times Street where his family shared a lot of memories.

Aquino’s sisters and other family members, former Cabinet officials, staff members, friends, security detail and supporters gathered inside the house for lunch where okoy, empanaditas, lechon, kare kare, prawns in coconut milk, chicken and pork adobo, fresh lumpiang ubod, steamed rice and pan de sal, green mango salad with camote tops, halo-halo with leche flan and maja blanca were served.

READ MORE...

It was a joyous occasion after all, and his eldest sister Ballsy Cruz said she was “very happy” that her brother was already an ordinary citizen.

“Ayos, ayos na ayos (Good, I’m really good),” Aquino told reporters when asked about how he was feeling.

“A big burden has been lifted from our shoulders,” he said.

Aquino said he would organize his house first because most of his personal belongings were still in boxes. His bed from his official residence, Bahay Pangarap, was just brought in, still covered in plastic.

“I have to make the place livable,” Aquino said.

But before they would do anything, the house was blessed by Aquino’s spiritual adviser, Fr. Catalino Arevalo.


Kris posted photos of her brother and sons during their time inside the house.

And this early, his favorite spot is the lanai where he could sit on his chair made of wood and rattan and read the books he has accumulated.

‘Tie A Yellow Ribbon’ Singing

“Tie A Yellow Ribbon” as they also tied yellow ribbons around the trees, gates and electric posts to welcome Aquino, the Times Street residents also cheered their famous neighbor while he was talking and thanked him for his service to the country.

The program was led by singers Noel Cabangon, Jim Paredes and Leah Navarro and former social welfare secretary Corazon Soliman.

Aquino said his parents, Corazon and the late senator Ninoy who were democracy icons, must be “patting their backs” as moving to Times Street in 1961 was one of the best decisions they ever made.

“On their behalf and on behalf of our family again, thank you very much,” Aquino said, to which the crowd shouted back: “We love you.”


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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